Monday, June 25, 2007

Disneyland for Candy Bloggers

Disney Cotton CandyI went to Disneyland last week with my family. This was my niece and nephew’s first visit there and my third (though I never got to go as a child). They had their priorities (meeting the Princesses and Jedi Academy, respectively) and I had mine.

Before going to the park I did some reading about what’s there. I found out that there is a candy store on Main Street called the Candy Palace that has been there since the park first opened fifty years ago. (There are very few candy stores in southern California that can say the same.) They actually make their own candy on site (fudge, chocolate cups, dipped apples, etc.). Of course I fully expected everything to be expensive and I wasn’t disappointed on that front.

So, what can you expect to find at Disneyland?

Candy PalaceFirst, Candy Palace.

The store is themed like an older arcade. The center section of the store features those machines that you put a penny and two quarters into to make a souvenir and pick a stamp to smash into the penny. There were also some old fashioned fortune telling games and nickelodeons. And of course fudge. Lots and lots of fudge.

There are three counters. The center one by the door sells fudge and salt water taffy. Behind that is a short wall of jelly beans (Jelly Belly, I’ll wager). At $12 a pound, they’re pretty pricey, but you can buy a quarter pound, which I suppose isn’t so bad if you’re getting exactly the flavors you want.

At the side counter, by the candy kitchen that faces the street, they sell peanut brittle and dipped apples (candy, chocolate and caramel) along with some other things.

Candy CounterCandy CounterCandy CounterCandy Counter

Then in the back the store opens up and there’s a large center counter with a refrigerated case that sold all sorts of chocolate treats (most made on site). This ranged from chocolate dipped strawberries to chocolate dipped pretzels, caramel cups, rocky road, a few different varieties of turtles and nut rolls and even some sugar free items.

Candy TinsThe rest of the store is devoted to prepackaged items in different themed “brands”. There were the Goofy items which are all non-chocolate like taffy, red licorice, gummi and compressed dextrose. Most were in character shapes. Goofy also had a Pucker Powder dispenser (one of two in the park that I found).  Other items were tins of chocolates (truffles, nut clusters and chocolate covered pretzels). There were items for Pirates of the Caribbean (swords filled with tart candy “treasure”) and Princess items (pastel tarts and lollipop).

Mickey Chocolate BarsMickey Mouse has his own line of chocolate bars (milk, dark and milk with almonds) and lollipops. Prepackaged can be good if all you want is a little pick-me up. You won’t find any other candy in the park ... no Snickers, no Hershey bars, it’s all Disneyland branded sweets.

Prices were pretty clearly marked on most items, which is always a relief. Some were rather reasonable like the chocolate bars at only $1.25 each. Others seemed absurd, such as $4.00 for a little clear 2” plastic cube with some gummi bears in it for $4.00.

The clerks were super-friendly and patient, as you’d expect at Disney, but it’s worth noting. They were also knowledgeable about the products ... except the woman who ended up ringing me up couldn’t find the little SKU to ring in some of my items from the cooler case ... but we found it! Around the corner in the same building is a little ice cream shop as well, and outside of that a small plaza with tables to consume your sweets. I had a $2.69 bottle of water for the day and snacked on a soft pretzels (shaped like Mickey, natch). Mary Poppins and Bert came by for a while and danced to the ragtime piano music and signed autographs (we suspect that the Mary Poppins was the same cast member we met earlier as Princess Belle).

Other stores ...

Pooh CornerPooh Corner is over in Critter Country tucked away in a corner and themed the Huny Spot. The store was nearly deserted when I went in there the first time, it was after lunch and I guess everyone was back on the rides. They have a smaller candy counter that has the same chocolate dipped goodies as well as a selection of cookies. There was a large display of Goofy Candy, the sour, Pucker Powder dispenser, and of course the lollies.

I liked the Pooh Corner shop a bit better, even though the selection wasn’t as wide. Perhaps it’s because it wasn’t as mobbed, or maybe it’s just because I like Pooh (and the Tao of Pooh).

Disney Lolly StandNow, those are just the two actual candy stores. Don’t get the impression that’s the only place you can find the stuff! Just about every store I went into had some version of the lollipop display. They offered the unicorn style twisted pops, swirly pops with Mickey or the Princesses on them and some large sour pops in the Goofy brand. There were also some Mickey Head shaped pops that came in little bundles that I picked up.

There are also cotton candy vendors everywhere (though none to be found at 9:30 in the morning, I guess Walt Disney doesn’t think it’s appropriate breakfast fare). Cotton Candy is $3 and sold in bags. I never found a cotton candy maker. Though the stuff sold in these little carts was certainly fresh, half the fun is watching them twist it all up and that wonderful burnt sugar smell.

Some tips:

  • If you want some candy, don’t try to buy as you are leaving the park. The lines are just fanatical after 7PM. Of course Disneyland is all about lines, so maybe you don’t mind. If you can carry it around with you, get it early. Or buy it in the afternoon and go back to your car ... of course that takes about a half an hour, so it’s kind of splitting the difference. (I waited in line for about a half an hour as well.)
  • Chocolate Pretzel Ears

  • Look around carefully. There are often several different versions of the same thing, some better deals than others. There were bags of chocolate dipped pretzels that were much less expensive than the box that I ended up purchasing ... however, they were regular pretzels, not the Mickey Head ones.

  • As with all stores that are heavily trafficked, choose your package carefully, probably from the bottom. The items on the top or in the front are often shopworn and well handled. Candies can be broken or melted.
  • Later, I’ll have a roundup of reviews of some actual candy ... how good is something that costs twice the price of stuff found outside of the park? I spent $35 ... how much do you think I got and how much of it was any good? As for the stores, I give them an 8 out of 10, for the variety, perky sales staff and cleanliness.

    Here’s the list of reviews:

  • Disneyland Candy Case Chocolates: Mickey Mouse Turtles, Mickey Mouse Chocolate Dipped Pretzels & Milk Chocolate Caramel & Marshmallow Bar.
  • Disneyland Candy Novelties: Mickey Mouse & Winnie the Pooh Candy Keepers & Mickey Mouse Lolli-Pop Bundles
  • Disneyland Wrapped Chocolate Candies: Mickey Mouse Chocolate Bars, Coconut Patties, Disney Spots & Pecan Caramel Cluster

  • Related Candies

    1. Universal CityWalk for Candy Lovers
    2. M&Ms Memorable Moments (Disney)
    3. Disney Branded Chocolate Candies
    4. Disneyland Candy Novelties
    5. Disneyland Candy Palace - Candy Case Chocolates

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:03 am Tracker Pixel for Entry     CandyLos Angeles8-TastyShopping

    1. WOW!!! It looks huge.

      Comment by Alyssa on 6/25/07 at 6:18 am #
    2. Did I gather correctly from your description that there’s no princes-branded chocolate stuff?  That’s just messed (and, I would think, a missed opportunity for more money-making).  I know plenty of Princess-obsessed little girls who love chocolate!

      Comment by good enough cook on 6/25/07 at 9:04 am #
    3. How funny! I was in Disney World back in April and di a large amount of candy scouting and am *still* trying to write it all up…

      Interesting difference, I remember seeing normal candy bars in WDW…I recall seeing snickers and m&ms; around…

      Comment by Sera on 6/25/07 at 10:31 am #
    4. What a fun review to read!  I’m a huge Disney fan!  We go to Disney World every year, and there’s always some kind of Disney candy on my shopping list.  Of course, at Disney World there’s Epcot, which gives you candy choices from 11 different countries!!  Well, 10 if you don’t count the US pavilion.

      Comment by Amanda on 6/25/07 at 2:18 pm #
    5. All senses are heightened when you are in the Happiest Place on Earth…which might be part of why I swear that those candy stores have some of the TASTIEST things on the planet.  The White chocolate raspberry cookies in the Pooh store are A-MAZE-ING. they taste more like a brownie, or cake, than a cookie.  I stock up on my bi-annual trips to disneyland!

      I’m also a big fan of the chocolate-dipped marshmallow sticks (usually covered in caramel first, about 3 on a stick, and covered in white chocolate according to certain characters - orange and black for tigger, etc.)

      My mom only eats sugar-free candies, and oddly enough found some of her favorite-ever sugar-free chocolate bars in disneyland. go figure

      Comment by Caitlin on 6/25/07 at 6:30 pm #
    6. I prefer the Pooh corner store because as you said, it’s in the most remote corner of the park and therefore the crowds are much smaller than on Main Street.  Also, their chocolate dipped strawberries are so good that when they’re in season, we make a special trip to do Pooh’s.  The Tiger Tails, loaded pretzel rods, and other marshmallow treats from Pooh’s are great, too.

      Comment by Erin on 6/27/07 at 1:48 pm #
    7. The pretzels shaped as Mickey Mouse were super cute! I wish i had bought more bags to take home. I also loved the rice crispie treats shaped like Mickeys head. The ears were dipped in chocolate, so yummy!

      Comment by Jennifer on 7/06/07 at 1:14 pm #
    8. hello i want to order at least a 20 ft cintainer of micky bars. can u give me details how to do that. thanks

      Comment by darren furusawa on 7/21/07 at 9:52 pm #
    9. we travelled to the usa from australia in october and experienced disnyland-awesome. i was wondering what type of chocolate cake that was served both in the park and downtown disney. it was layered with a fudge type and cake. the whole cake was then dressed with a topping similar to mud cake. we found it at the candy shoppe that also had a pastry section (the name escapes me), thanx, jim, australia

      Comment by jim on 12/27/07 at 12:50 am #
    10. If you like chocolate and go to Disneyland then you have to buy a slice of chocolate cake at The Golden Horseshoe.

      To our knowledge this is the only place this is available.
      It is sooooooo good!

      The cake is moist and flavorful, the icing tasty and not too sweet and it even has yummy chocolate shavings on it.

      This cake slice is 4 layers tall and my hubby & I share a piece at the park with plenty left over to take home.

      I’m not a chocolate cake person but oh I love this cake!!

      Comment by Rachel on 10/08/08 at 6:41 am #

      Comment by Tiana on 7/21/12 at 12:55 am #
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